Visitors to the site walk in through an ancient Roman gate, to the compound dot the town still lined by venerable stone walls.
This gate is further south of the main entrance, and dates to the 6th Century BC. It is part of the remaining pre-Roman structures built by the Histri, a people noted for their piracy skills. They were evidently skilled in their line of work -they provoked Rome enough to incur their wrath and a major battle took place here in 177 BC.
Seeing that they were losing, the men killed the women and children and threw them over the fortified walls. Any who remained were sold into slavery, effectively erasing the cultural identity of the Histri who remained.
A cistern remains fairly intact, as well as the foundations of 2 churches dating from the mid 6th century.
A prehistoric necropolis (cemetery) was found, with pottery and numerous burial goods which are now housed in the museum in Pula.
Some of the homes from Roman times, their lower portions accessed by recessed stairs, are situated around the town wall perimeter. Some of the stones are scorched by the fires of long ago. It was easy to imagine a family sitting down to a simple meal, talking about their day, catching up on local gossip by the warm hearth. The sun shone so warmly that day. Peace was tangible, like a warm blanket. It was hard to imagine the screams of the dying and the crash of Roman boots.
We were walking on herbs! Each step crushed an aromatic and defenseless mint, or thyme, or oregano plant. Stooping to find the best specimens, we picked to our heart's content to flavour our supper!
The beauty all around us, the stillness of the sleeping memories in the air, the reverent awe at seeing and being in the midst of a history that old, that complex, made for an afternoon I will not soon forget.
The historical significance of this area, and the workings of both the Bronze and Iron Age, and the Roman occupation in this area, make for a fascinating read. You will find some excellent information at the link below, and on many websites if you choose to do some digging on your own.
My thanks to Istrianet.org for increasing my understanding of Nesactium and its attractions.
You can also find more information here: http://www.megalithic.co.uk